Category: Music

Bands and big batches of beans, beef

Arts & Entertainment

Music, chili and crowd surfing. And all for 18 bucks! What better way to spend an overcast Saturday?
Richmond’s rock station XL 102 held their annual Chili Cook-Off this weekend at the Richmond International Raceway and it was a blast, to say the least. With numerous stands handing out free chili samples, as well as others selling other carnival delicacies, and an excessive amount of locally-brewed beer, the Chili Cook-Off had all of its bases covered.
Headlining this year’s event were bands: Panic! at the Disco, A Day to Remember, and Seether, as well as local bands: The Hold Steady, Kongos, The Orwells, and Fun Size.
“All of the bands were fantastic, but Panic! at the Disco’s lead singer, Brendon Urie, really stole the show with a backflip and some unexpected screaming,” said freshman Stephanie Gotschall. “Screaming isn’t something the band is known for, so it was an unexpected, but welcome, surprise.”
Panic! at the Disco is a pop punk band from Las Vegas, Nevada. They were founded in 2004 and have been making music consistently ever since. Their debut studio album, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” (2005), put them on the charts with the single “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” on the top ten lead singles that year and leading to a more awards for the album in the future. The band is most well-known for their single “Nine in the Afternoon” and is adored by fans nationwide.
A Day to Remember is a band from Ocala, Florida and tends to swing between the metalcore and pop punk genres. It was founded in 2003 and is most well-known for the song “The Downfall of Us All” from their album Homesick (2009). The band has been touring since their debut and released their most recent album, Common Courtesy in 2013.
Seether, a South American band founded in 1999, was very popular at this year’s Chili Cook-Off. The crowd was suddenly filled with hundreds of middle aged parents as this post-grunge alternative rock band took the stage. This band is most well-known for their songs “Broken,” “Remedy,” and “Fake It,” which have all hit top lists at one point or another.
The chili, provided by multiple local restaurants such as Famous Dave’s, was very popular and disappeared shortly after the event started. The beer, on the other hand, remained throughout the event and many fans could be seen stumbling through the crowd in a drunken stupor.
All in all, the 2014 XL 102 Chili Cook-Off was a fantastic experience, its fans hope it will continue to be just as good, if not better, in the future.

Opening the envelope

Glenn Rose
Staff Writer

The start of the year means a lot of things, one of which is award shows. Many of them do a good job of reflecting what movies, shows, and songs have been the best throughout the year. Most of the time you only end up hearing about these award shows’ decisions when they aren’t popular; example, Macklemore winning “Best New Artist” at the Grammys over the favorite Kendrick Lamar. Both are really important figures in their genre which has become the most mainstream by leaps and bounds. They both rap about issues that are important to and reflective of current society. Lamar focuses on racial issues, and Macklemore has become a household name as being a champion of gay rights. Now, which issue is more important is not my place to guess, but I can say that the issue of sexual equality is a hot button issue right now.
While the Grammy’s have been under fire, the Golden Globes were generally well received by the public. American Hustle had their two female leads (Amy Adams, and Jennifer Lawrence) win for the “Best Actress/Supporting Actress in A Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy” while Dallas Buyers Club’s Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto swept “Best Actor/Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama.” Both of these movies are incredible and worth your time and money.
The Golden Globes are not a joke, but at the end of the day movies want to win Oscars, which are the highest of movie awards. There are many good movies and actors/actresses this year to pick from. American Hustle has been projected to win a lot of awards, but I don’t think 12 Years a Slave should be counted out for winning best picture, as it has been reviewed by many high up movie critics as one of the most realistic depictions of slavery in cinema. My guess for Actress awards is that American Hustle will take home the Oscar for both just like the Golden Globes. The men aren’t so easy. DiCaprio is a popular choice since everyone wants to see him finally win an Oscar, but Chiwetel Ejiofor of 12 Years a Slave and McConaughey of Dallas Buyers Club both acted, possibly, the role of their lives. A front runner for the supporting actor role is Barkhad Abdi who played the head pirate in the biopic “Captain Philips.” This is the only movie Abdi has ever been in and wowed the watchers with his terrifying portrayal of a Somali pirate that toward the end you almost end up being sorry for.
After these ceremonies are over there are bound to be people who think something or somebody else should have won, but at least most of the nominees were almost as good. For movies and music this year there have been strides in improving these forms of art, which you can see in the overall quality of the music and cinema of 2013.

KEVNPHE showcase their talents

Community Editor

KEVNPHE are two young men who came to Wesleyan and have had the opportunity to turn their hobby into something serious. Kevin Bridgeforth and Greg Montgomery met through mutual friends before they attended college. They share a passion for music and have furthered their experience in the field.
When it comes to the creativity aspect, KEVNPHE share interests throughout the writing process. Each song stems from something deeper.
“We need to have a reason [meaning] to write; our inspiration also comes from beats within the industry,” said Bridgeforth.
Once they have been inspired, they begin to put the words to the beats as they are continuing to use their learned techniques to the best of their ability.
“When creating a song, we simply sit down and write together; we write to the beats of tracks which have inspired us,” said Bridgeforth.
Before each performance, they have warm-ups that get them pumped for the set ahead of them. In terms of preparation, they both listen to 90 percent of the music together. They also have individual routines which help them to prepare.
“Before each show, I always like to pray,” said Montgomery.
“I like to eat and do 50 push-ups before a show,” said Bridgeforth.
Performing in front of an audience causes a rush of many emotions; it is when all of the practicing and recording begins to make a difference.
“Being in front of an audience is a great feeling; it is definitely comfortable,” said Bridgeforth.
“It is a chance for us to get away from real life and it feels like it is just [us] up there on the stage,” said Montgomery.
There are many perks that stem from performing for an audience. KEVNPHE have had the opportunity to record in studios of their friends’ houses as well as professional places that are well-known in the industry.
While it is great to make music and work with one another on projects they are both passionate about, Bridgeforth and Montgomery agree the best part is actually being able to experience the transition of a song from the booth of a recording studio to the live performance on a stage.
Both performers love to see support from their friends and new spectators within the audience. It is one of the most exciting parts of performing for the group.
“I love watching the reaction of a new audience members; we love gaining new listeners as well as having friends and new people take in the set,” said Montgomery.
Their next performance is at the Iguana on 37th Street in Norfolk on Nov. 20 at 8 p.m.
You can listen to the group’s music on SoundCloud’s website and also keep up with the band by following them on twitter.

Twerk Miley, twerk

Richard Cremin/Marlin Chronicle

Staff Writer

The media can be seen as a buffet of expectations, stereotypes, morals and hypocrisy where people are allowed to pick and choose which rules apply to each particular situation. Most of the time, the objects of scrutiny seem random. What makes me angry, and why I am writing this article, is because there is an unequal distribution of hostility between males and females.
Women are often exploited, studied, and reprimanded more harshly than men. I am not saying that there are not issues surrounding the portrayal and treatment of men in the media, but double standards exist where morals are applied more leniently to males.
“Female sexuality is more studied than male sexuality,” said English and Women and Gender Studies professor Dr. Susan Larkin, “And it is definitely more stigmatized.”
When it comes to live performances, the lines between what is acceptable and what is offensive are thin and nonsensical. For a generation that applauds the shocking and embraces the weird, we certainly love to criticize.
At the 2013 Video and Music Awards, for example, Miley Cyrus was hung out to dry in front of millions for the raunchy performance of her song “We Can’t Stop.” Admittedly, the performance was scandalous, which I’m sure Cyrus knew going into it, but the scrutiny she has faced exhibits double standards and hypocrisy.
While most tabloid magazines are posting articles about Miley’s “train wreck” and the masses are thoroughly enjoying ganging up on her, Robin Thicke slides through the press for the most part unscathed. Many people are forgetting to note that Thicke joined Cyrus on stage to sing his hit “Blurred Lines.”
Thicke’s hit song tries to send the message that there are “blurred lines” between consent and non-consent when it comes to sex.
It seems that men and women have been forced into stereotypes where it is more acceptable for a man to be blatantly sexual than for a woman. Somehow, women are expected to be sexy without ever actually being sexual.
“The media always comes at women really hard saying, ‘Oh, you guys are nasty.’ But men can have their shirts off and you are supposed to think, ‘Oh he’s hot,’ said junior and Women and Gender Studies major Sarah Nwokorie. “So that double standard definitely exists there.”
When it comes to situations like Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s at the 2013 VMAs, the media decided it is offensive and wrong for Cyrus to act the way she did, while Thicke’s behavior was accepted, expected and didn’t cause the same uproar.
The backlash Cyrus has experienced for her performance makes it seem that the media is a conservative place where a woman’s sexual nature is blanketed and taboo. In reality, women are constantly over sexualized in television, advertisements and movies to such an extent that the general public is desensitized to it.
Women are presented with an image of what they are supposed to be: sexy without being sexual, modest without being prude, wild without being offensive. I have never met such a woman, but I am sure she is a fearsome thing to behold.
wPrecedent tells us that women’s bodies sell products but women should not flaunt themselves. Precedent tells us that it is okay for men to be stereotyped into being sexual and risqué without having to face the same repercussions and ridicule as women. But with every day, these precedents are being diminished. Someday, hopefully soon, the media will look on all people through the same lens and these double standards will be diminished.

Delta Rae Collaborates With Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac on “If I Loved You”

Premiere Official Video for On

Delta Rae recently had the opportunity to collaborate with one of their heroes. They teamed up with Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, their all-time favorite band, who played guitar on the re-recorded version of their new single, “If I Loved You.” Pretty sweet.

The band released the new video for “If I Loved You” yesterday exclusively on , which Lindsey wasn’t in, but still deserves to be watched regardless.
“This video captures what I love most about the song” says Delta Rae singer Elizabeth Hopkins, who takes center stage on this song. “It’s simple and raw. Telling someone point blank that you don’t love them is difficult and painful. I’ve done it. It feels horrible, but there is also a release that comes along with it, a lifting of a weight. I think this video lets you focus on the rawness of that message.”

Post & Share:

“If I Loved You” on YouTube

“If I Loved You” Video Premiere on

“If I Loved You (feat. Lindsey Buckingham)” on Soundcloud

Carry The Fire on iTunes

“I can’t really accurately express how wild it was for us to learn that Lindsey Buckingham had played on If I Loved You.” explains Delta Rae singer/song-writer/guitar player Ian Holljes. “I grew up on stories of how my parents (along with every other kid on campus) would blast the entirety of Rumours out of their college dorm room windows. Fleetwood Mac and Lindsey Buckingham’s writing have been so influential to us and so to have his talents and incredibly distinctive guitar playing laid over one of our tracks felt like the world sort of folding over on itself. Ultimately, it was rewarding on two huge levels — the thrill of having one of your heroes play on your song and the actual impact of his beautiful guitar work enhancing the song so meaningfully. ”

It’s been a wild year for six piece rock band Delta Rae since the release of their debut album, Carry The Fire, this past June. The band performed their single “Bottom Of The River” on The Tonight Show w/Jay Leno the night of the release. The show liked them so much, they invited them back for round two to perform “Fire.” In between Leno trips, the band performed on Conan, were featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and hand selected by Rolling Stone as an “Artist To Watch” for their Women Who Rock campaign. They’ve been championed by VH1, who selected them as their “You Oughta Know” Artist of The Month for October, USA Today, who premiered their video for “Dance In The Graveyards,” KCRW, Billboard, Forbes and ELLE among many others.

Confirmed Delta Rae Tour Dates:

04/11 Howlin’ Wolf – New Orleans, LA

04/21 Rams Head Live – Baltimore, MD

04/25 Alice Jepson Theatre – Richmond, VA

04/26 MerleFest – Wilkesboro, NC

04/27 MerleFest – Wilkesboro, NC

05/04 Koka Booth Amphitheatre – Cary, NC

05/18 Hangout Music Fest – Gulf Shores, AL

05/20 House of Blues – New Orleans, LA

05/23 The Kessler Theater – Dallas, TX

05/24 Levitt Pavilion – Arlington, TX

05/25 The Parish Room – Austin, TX

05/28 The Vanguard – Tulsa, OK

07/12 Banbury Festival – Cincinnati, OH

07/20 Robert Mondavi Winery Summer Concert Series – Napa, CA

07/27 FLOYDFEST – Floyd, VA

08/01 First Canadian Place – Toronto, ON

08/02 Illuminaqua Festival – Welland, ON

Official Website:




Press Contact:

Andrew Steinthal @ Warner Bros. Records
212-707-3086 –

‘Hey, hey, hey’ Delta Rae

Morgan Stroyeck
Copy Editor

Delta Rae “carries the fire” all the way to the NorVa tomorrow night.

Take a whole lot of soul, passionate performances, songs that sound like melodic stories, an unceasing amount of energy, add some good old southern influences and you still won’t have all the charismatic talent that makes up the band Delta Rae.
Delta Rae is more than just another band trying to make it big—they’re out share their blend of southern soul and Americana rock with fans everywhere. Eric Hölljes took the time to answer a few questions about the band and talk about hitting the stage at the NorVa tomorrow March 8.
Hailing from Durham, NC, Delta Rae is comprised of the siblings Eric, Ian and Brittany Hölljes, vocalist Liz Hopkins, percussionist Mike Mckee and bassist Grant Emerson, and this six-piece band certainly has a unique dynamic.
“With six people it’s hard to do anything, but when a great collaboration opportunity comes up, we make it happen,” said Hölljes. “We’re all driven, and we all love the chance to make music with musicians we admire.”
Delta Rae is a fairly young band—it’s been only three years since the band formed and started making their powerful music—but it’s already apparent Delta Rae is headed in exactly the right direction.
“We started writing, practicing and playing out locally as much as we could while also balancing part-time jobs,” said Hölljes. “Eventually we were lucky enough to bring on our drummer, Mike McKee and he introduced us to our bass player, Grant Emerson. As a six-piece we’ve been touring relentlessly across the country since 2010.”
This collaboration resulted in their richly layered freshman album “Carry the Fire,” released last June, an album resplendent with four-part harmonies on tracks like “If I Loved You” and “Hey, Hey, Hey.” The band shows their array of talent with their first single, the voluminous and soulful “Bottom of the River,” a passionate staple of their live set.
“I really love all the songs,” said Hölljes. “‘Bottom of the River’ might be my favorite song off the album. It was the first song we recorded and the vibe was pretty awesome. We banged on trashcans and stomped in the kitchen to get the right sounds. The song and recording are very us.”
“It was very gratifying to record our first album,” said Hölljes. “We had been a band for over two years and still didn’t have an album, so it felt very right to finally get in the studio and record.”
When asked about the band’s sound, Hölljes admitted “I have a lot of trouble with this question. I don’t like boxes, [but] we have four soulful lead singers and a very inventive rhythm section so our music tends to have a lot of harmonies and percussion.”
Their inventive rhythms and energetic harmonies make their live performances intense and enthralling. Concert-goers to the NorVa this month can expect a “passionate, dynamic performance of songs that we wrote and love,” said Hölljes. “We bring everything we’ve got to our live shows—balls to wall singing and beating the shit out of our instruments. That’s my favorite thing. Playing on stage with this band is a workout and it’s cathartic. I love it.”
“I hope that our music makes our fans feel something,” said Hölljes. “I’ll never forget hearing the records and seeing the shows of George Winston, Ray Lamontagne, Coldplay, Sweet Honey In The Rock…because they all gave me chills. Those artists make magic on stage and that’s what we hope to do.”
In addition to these influences, Hölljes says other artists have made an impact on the band’s sound, including Billy Joel, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt and Paul Simon.
“I really appreciate lyrics that tell a story and are personal, and I love melodies that are stirring and make me feel something,” said Hölljes. “I also have been very inspired by folk pianist George Winston and musicals like “Les Misérables” and the Phantom of the Opera. I hear these influences in almost all of our songs.”
The band is currently on tour in North America, and on March 8 they’ll be taking the NorVa by their soulful, Americana storm. After this tour, there’s no slowing down for Delta Rae.
“We’re finishing up the tour and have been writing some of the best songs we’ve ever written, which I’m so stoked about,” said Hölljes. “Also we have lots of festivals coming up this summer. You can’t keep us off the road!”